Authors We Love: Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll - Wikipedia

Charles was the third of the eleven children of Dodgson. Charles loves his mother best. He regards his mother as one of the sweetest mothers in the world. His mother is a good housekeeper and pays great attention to the children’s preschool education. At the age of seven, Charles was said to have read Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, as well as Maria Edgeworth’s Practical Education and Hannah Moore’s The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. At the age of 12, Charles was sent as a boarder to a grammar school in Richmond, ten miles from Croft. He is diligent and eager to learn. The principal told his parents that his eloquence and the ingenuity and diction of his Latin prose proved him to be an extraordinary genius.

In 1846 he was sent to Rugby, which soon came under the rule of Thomas Arnold. When he first went there, he was unhappy and often bullied and called a “fool” (a clumsy athlete). He was often mocked because of his childhood stammer. On the other hand, when he did not receive prizes for classics, theology, mathematics, etc., he seldom went home. During the holidays, he began writing a series of home magazines for his siblings. At the age of 14, his first magazine was called an “inspiring and instructive collection of poetry.” It includes many humorous poems, some of which are in the doggerel style, while others are contemporary traditional poems written for children.

He composed poem in the form of a ballad taught people never to annoy their sisters, followed by a magazine illustrated by Charles himself. After leaving Rugby in 1850, Charles wrote his own masterpiece, The Rectory Umbrella And Mischmasch, while preparing for the Oxford entrance examination at home. The book shows that Charles was already an outstanding writer for a comic magazine. He also wrote plays for a puppet theater. His cousin introduced him to the novelist Francis Edward Smedley. He showed some of the poems to Edmund Yates, who, to compete with Punch, had started a penny magazine called Comic Times. Charles wrote four poems for the magazine.

When the Comic Times closed, he began writing for the latter Yates magazine, The train. Charles’ chief contribution to The Train was poetry. In publishing “Solitude,” Yates chose one of two pseudonyms offered by Charles: Lewis Carroll. These are the two Latin names of Charles, keeping the alphabetical order and then turning back to English. He was a priest and never married. He was very fond of children, and his favorite was a little girl called Alice Liddell. On the fourth of July, 1862, the author and a friend of his took the three Liddells and rowed up the River Thames from Oxford to Gostowe. On the boat, he told Alice a little story, which he later turned into a manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and presented to her.

The manuscript is only 18, 000 words long, and the illustrations are by the author himself. Later, the author revised it to the present scale, changed the title to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and asked the famous painter Sir John Tenniel to illustrate it. The first edition was published on July 4, 1865, as a memorial to that trip. The story tells the story of a little girl named Alice, chasing a rabbit in a dream and falling into the rabbit hole, began a long and dangerous journey. This fairy tale breaks through the traditional moralistic formula of western European children’s literature with its magical fantasy, funny humor and high poetry, and has since been translated into many languages and travelled all over the world.

Carroll later wrote a companion piece, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which became popular in the world along with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1868, Carroll published his encryption method. This type of encryption is known as Lewis Carroll’s ciphers. Cryptography introduces the concept of a secret key, which determines which row of secret tables to replace according to the key, to counter word frequency statistics. The password’s key space size is 26m, so even if the value of m is small, using the exhaustive key search method can take a long time. For example, when m=5, the size of the key space exceeds 1.1*107, which is beyond the scope of exhaustive search by hand calculation.

Charles was writing parodies and satires. Works such as The New Belfry (1872), The Vision of the Three T’s (1873) and The Blank Cheque (1874) attacked the reforms of many colleges and universities. In 1879, he tried to study children publicly. Because he has a terrible stammer, but he can communicate with people through the camera. In his second year at the school (1856), Carroll bought a complete set of photographic equipment (The Wet Print) and photographed Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, and the Prince of England. But he was most attracted to girls around the age of 7, and he took every opportunity to photograph the girls he met. Only in front of the girls, Carol will not have any psychological barriers. The only work he did during this period was Rhyme? and Reason?

-Coreen C.

Pandora Hearts by Jun Mochizuki

pandorahearts_junmochizukiOz Vessalius is fifteen years old, which means that it is time for his coming of age ceremony for the Vessalius family. Being the head of a powerful family, he doesn’t have to worry about in his future and his days are spent teasing his servant Gil, playing with his younger sister, and trying to woo the beautiful Sharon. That is, until he and Gil stumble upon a grave and Oz starts to have weird dreams about a girl in a twisted dollhouse who wants to kill him. The erratic Baskervilles send Oz into the “Abyss”, a prison thought only to be be a scary bedtime story. But why is the girl from his dream suddenly helping him get out of the Abyss? More importantly, when he finally gets out, has the world changed? Or did the Abyss change him?

Pandora Hearts is a completed manga series, with 104 chapters in 24 volumes and it’s a very worthwhile read. The series has very beautiful artwork, with each panel being a masterpiece and scenery that perfectly sets the tone. Additionally, characters are drawn in a way that perfectly suits their personalities. They have incredible backstories that lead the plot towards incredible twists and turns. The plot is woven well into the overall theme, from one scene about madness, to the next being completely comedic and the next being a thrilling action scene.

For Alice in Wonderland fans, it is nice to see many references to the book, with many scenes of madness, a character named “Alice”, and many characters having nicknames such as “Mad Hatter” or “B-Rabbit”. However, younger teens should be cautioned because some scenes of madness and action can be quite gruesome and twisted.

This is an amazing manga series, and I hope that everyone can take the chance to read it.

-Megan V., 11th Grade

Pandora Hearts is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. 

Spintered by A. G. Howard

splintered_aghowardIt all started with the rabbit hole.

Of course, Alice falls down it and finds herself in the bizarre world of Wonderland. But what would happened if when she came back, something wasn’t the same?

Skip two centuries to Alyssa Gardner, the descendant of Alice Liddell and inspiration for Lewis Carroll. She just wants to live a normal life with school, artistic desires, and Jeb, a cute artist. But the curse of the Liddell family that causes their girls to go crazy (including her mom) and the strange power to hear the voices of plants and insects keeps Alyssa’s life anything but normal.

That’s when she gets a call from the boy of her dreams (literally) to help save Wonderland and fix everything her ancestor messed up. If she does, she’ll be from her family’s curse, and her mother could be saved. But Wonderland is not how it seems through Lewis Carroll’s innocent perspective.

This book, along with the other two of its series, is amazing. It’s full of humor, including the comical fights between the two edges of the love triangle Alyssa somehow gets sucked into, a sarcastic characters, and the events Alyssa has to face in Wonderland.

I actually didn’t personally like Alice in Wonderland. However, when I read this book, I liked it way better than the original. And for those of you who like horror, all I’m going to say is that one of the author’s inspirations was Tim Burton. Additionally, there are small details that lead to very interesting and well thought out plans, which made the book even cooler. And of course, the classic secret keeping, in which secrets blew my mind and were ones I didn’t figure out before. Finally, the author puts the classic story into her own words, with characters the reader will recognize by name and be intrigued with.

All in all, this is one book that should be read!

-Megan V.